Taiwan to relax international student regulations to improve professional talent pool

‘New Economic Immigration Bill’ to offer more opportunities to foreign students after graduation

William Lai (center-left, grey tie) during event in Taipei on August 21.

William Lai (center-left, grey tie) during event in Taipei on August 21. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan Premier William Lai (賴清德) said the government is currently promoting draft legislation to make it easier for international students to continue their stay in Taiwan after graduation, during a speech on August 20, reported CNA.

Under the proposed legislation, certain students from countries involved in Taiwan's New Southbound Policy (NSP) will find it easier to stay in Taiwan post study, in a bid to create a win-win for Taiwan and Southeast Asia, said Lai.

The main thrust of Taiwan's “New Economic Immigration Bill” (新經濟移民法草案) is to target foreign professionals to fill skills shortages in the business sector, and to help bring in change champions to drive Taiwan's industrial upgrading. The draft also features a component targeting foreign students.

According to Lai, the draft legislation will allow students to work in Taiwan after graduation, start businesses in Taiwan, work in Taiwanese businesses. The draft also has clearer guidelines to achieve permanent residency, reported CNA.

The draft legislation is part of Taiwan's NSP, and Lai said the policy has yielded remarkable successes in the past two years

Recent statistics show that Taiwan beat its annual target for Southeast Asian students last academic year. Total Taiwan investment in NSP countries increased by 54.5 percent in the past two years, as well as tourism from NSP countries increased by 27 percent.

Lai said the Taiwan government attaches great importance to the development of professional and technical talent in Taiwan, and that the government wants to not only facilitate education, but to also help companies grow to become drivers of future economic development.

A draft of the proposed legislation is currently open for public scrutiny on Join.